Heinz creates thunderous blowback

Not having a television, I get my news about the great service that our broadcasters are offering us from pro-life websites. Thus I find that Heinz has dropped a TV advert for its mayo because 200 people have complained about a gay kiss in the advert. (Cf. LifeSite news article)

The Pink Paper has picked up the story (Warning: this is a site that has stories such as '"Eco-dildo" a useful bulwark against oil price instability.') It refers to the key article by Ben Summerskill of Stonewall in the Guardian: Beanz meanz bigotz calling for a boycott of all Heinz products.

I thought that this story might be a gift for headline writers. Such is the nervousness over the whole issue, however, that the headlines are all very prim and proper. Lifesite's "Heinz in Pickle" and the Grauniad's "Heinz mayo ad too saucy" are about as far as people are prepared to go. Let's see if the bloggers can do better!

It seems to me that Ben Summerskill has missed the obvious irony of this whole affair. If I were writing for a gay paper, I would point out how ludicrous it is that one the one hand the Catholic adoption agencies are being compelled to choose between closure and the denial of their principles over the question of giving children to gay couples; and on the other hand, an advert featuring a gay kiss is withdrawn because children might be offended by it.

However, I'm not writing for a gay paper so can I point out how ludicrous... (etc. as above)

The gay boycott of Heinz products is an interesting challenge to the world of retailing. Having been caught in a cleft stick by putting on the silly advert, Heinz executives must be really shouting at some poor "creative" type who got them in this mess. They will know that there are far more family-friendly consumers to offend but will not want to lose custom from a vociferous minority. My guess is that retailers might want to steer clear of pitching explicitly for the pink pound - it is not worth the hassle.

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